Barry Wedgle,
In Your Dreams
(Exit, 2003)

Barry Wedgle and Co. give a dancing ride through the world jazz scene with In Your Dreams. This Latin-infused collection of original works has equal amounts of bounce and sadness; both leave you wanting to hear more.

The album's strengths lie in Wedgle's talented guitar solos and Kim Stone's stellar bass. It's clear these two have played together for a while, creating interesting rhythms and, on some songs like "The Black Forest," creepy moods of mystery. The best pieces are ones with strong latin influences, like "Sea Level" -- a bopping tune that seems straight from a Rio beachside cafe -- and the moody "Brazilia."

While the overall tone is upbeat, a thick vein of melancholy runs through the album. Wedgle mentions in his liner notes that he wrote this album after losing his wife. His grieving process shows up in several songs, like the tender "Gabrielle" and the beautifully sad "Love Lost." Although these aren't the strongest songs on the album, Wedgle's guitar really shines the brightest, with the most feeling. Unfortunately, the album's one real weakness dilutes the effect of two other potentially powerful songs. "Nights of Love" and "In Your Dreams," with their sprightly rhythms and tender lyrics, are pieces of recovery, of finding meaning after loss. But, unfortunately, their impact is lessenend by Anne Kennedy's uninspired vocals. She has potential, but her voice isn't quite up to the tasks here: she can't hold the fine edge of dissonance without slipping into discordance.

Sad and sprightly, deep and breezy, In Your Dreams is, overall, a good album of gentle moods. Pop this one in the CD player on a rainy night for an evening of gentle reminiscence -- of lost loves, moving on and the hope of a bright sunny day when winter's over.

- Rambles
written by Tracie Vida
published 31 July 2004

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